LIVE MUSIC REVIEW: Slowly Slowly x The Gooch Palms

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Slowly Slowly @ Howler x The Gooch Palms @ The Northcote Social Club.

Words by Matilda Elgood.

On Friday night I set out to do something I had never achieved before, attend two gigs in the one night, support acts included.

In preparation for the night, I drew up a schedule and made some tough decisions.

Which sets was I willing to miss half of, and which ones might I just have to skip all together.

After completing my template for the night I checked the time and realised I was already late.

I rushed off to my first stop.

I arrived (slightly late) at the Northcote Social Club for my first band, Shrimpwitch. I had heard a lot about the two piece but had never had the delight of catching them live. Arriving a few songs into their set, I was already very intrigued. Their music is very reminiscent of B-52’s “Rock Lobster”. Such a full sound for a two piece band. I love the the raw D.I.Y sound they are able to encapsulate in their recorded tracks, but seeing their unique garage-rock put together on stage is truly a pleasure. Their whimsical lyrics are hilarious and resonate with you in ways you wouldn’t expect, “Mimimum Chips” specifically. Not to mention the visual treat of an all green outfit from one amazing drummer, Georgi. I will forever be impressed by a drummer who doubles as a vocalist. I found myself constantly checking my watch as my allocated departure time was closing in. The duo had such an inviting stage presence, I came for the music but wish I stayed for the banter. Alas, I must move on.

I rushed to Howler to catch my first act there of the night. Foley had already taken to the stage. I was quickly welcomed into the show as loyal Foley fans surrounded me, throwing the heads back in song with emo/punk vocalist, Mick. As a big fan of their album “Hey, Don’t Worry About It” on vinyl it was long overdue to finally see them bring it to life in a live set. “You Got a Bit of Shit on Your Face”, was a highlight which Mick beautifully dedicated to a fellow band-member. The powerful vocals with the pounding drum in the background towards the end of the song elicited a whole crowd sing-a-long that created a real anthem ambiance. “Break Up Song”, was another favourite. The simple baseline broke into a huge sound as drums and guitar joined in, bringing that live energy right up. Foley’s lyrics have a strong community theme to it, similar to that of The Smith Street Band. Before I knew it, their set had come to a finish and it was time for me to get back on the road and head back to the Northcote Social Club.

As I was walking back into the Northcote Social Club, the fatigue was starting to hit me. DIET were next up on the agenda. Finally, I was able to stay put for a whole set. The surf rock hit me as I entered the band room, immediately lifting my spirits. The Melbourne outfit put on a really tight show, playing my personal favourites, “Clothes Off” and their most recent release “Take Me”. The band joked of lead singer Ben’s outfit insecurities for the night. Not to worry Ben, the shirt was an excellent choice. Likewise, if there was a band to see a full set of that night, DIET was another excellent choice.

After an uneasy half an hour in the same place, the headliner of the Northcote Social Club, The Gooch Palms were anticipated to take to the stage any minute. A clearly rehearsed and perfected pre-show skit from behind the curtains left the crowd in stitches waiting to see what going to happen next. The Newcastle two piece emerged in their iconic matching his and hers jumpsuits. The live show veterans spoke of a slightly seedy start to their day, which did not hinder their performance in the slightest. As the show wore on I found myself stepping further and further away from the stage as the mosh pit grew larger and larger coinciding with the rising energy in the room. Having never seen the Gooch Palms live before I was fascinated by drummer Kat as she stood at an elevated drum kit allowing her to show off her incredible stage presence without being restricted behind a traditional kit. Guitarist Leroy connected with the crowd as told us about his mental health experiences overseas before leading into a song written about it. The cheers of the audience could not have been louder or more filled with love. Unfortunately it was time for me to go again.

I had made the very tough decision to skip The Pretty Littles, for the sake of my petrol, justifying to myself that I had seen them live before. Which brought me to the final act of the night Slowly Slowly. Luck was not on my side as I only got to see three songs. Coming in at the tail end of the set meant that I was thrown in the deep end of emotions circulating the room. Each member of the crowd looked as though they were a die hard fan, singing every lyric to every song, a gesture that did not go unnoticed. The humble four piece gave thanks to a sold out room for their support at every chance they had. I was lucky enough to catch “Aliens”, a song with so much power and punch and performed live was on another level. I lost count of how many members of the crowd were wearing CERES merch, and you can definitely see strong similarities between the two bands. Not just in their sound but in the way they give it their all and their respect and love for their fans. A very heart-warming way to end my night. The band left the stage to a screaming encore. They re-emerged for a last couple of songs, although, it was past midnight and time for me to go to bed, so I didn’t stay.

Overall, my full night of music was a complete success. I will definitely be making the trek again, but not too soon. The petrol will send me broke.